School Zone

By: Suzanne Wilson

The 2016-2017 fiscal and school year officially closed on June 30, 2017.  For this article I thought it might be interesting to review some of the highlights from the treasurer’s office perspective.

Donations and Grants – We received several grants and donations, including:

$1680 from the Action of Healthy Kids for student wellness

$5000 from ODE for a Breakfast Grant for the cafeteria

$16,347.62 from Vermilion Education Foundation to fund projects requested by teachers

$20,000 from the Erie County Community Foundation to support various projects including the SMS music department and renovation of tennis courts

$10,153.46 from Medical Mutual and Lake Erie Regional Council to reimburse the District for staff wellness initiatives

$10,000 from Vermilion Municipal Employees to the Athletic Department for the purchase of youth football equipment.

Several donations were received from the Vermilion Athletic Boosters during the year, including $4288 for wrestling mats

$6,500 from Vermilion Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham United Methodist Church and an anonymous donor to cover outstanding lunch charges

We received several other smaller donations and gifts from many generous businesses and individuals to support scholarships and student projects throughout the year.

Technology – In August 2016 the District rolled out 1350 new laptops and 550 currently owned laptops for the 2016-17 school year to both students and staff.   These units will be used by our students for a minimum of four years.

Transportation – Two buses were traded in for one new 77-passenger and one 84 passenger bus.  The purchase of two buses per year for the next four years is included in our five year plan.

Buildings and Grounds – We purchased a skid steer with bucket, forks and snow blade to replace a John Deer tractor and a Ford farm tractor that were no longer viable; several improvements to the buildings and grounds were completed, including reconditioning of the running track, installation of lighting in the stadium parking lot and a new sound system for the soccer, softball and hardball fields; the first phase of the Science department renovation was completed in at the high school; and the lot split was completed between the old VES and the bus garage to prepare for the sale of the VES on Decatur Street.

Financial Department – We offered a one-time severance plan for employees who retiring effective June 30, 2017. Thirteen employees took advantage of plan.  The savings realized through retirements is $2,160,000 over the next four years of the Five Year Forecast.  Several of these positions will not be filled, allowing us to reduce staff through attrition, rather than lay-offs.

Finally, we were very proud that Vermilion Local School District received an Auditor of State Award for exemplary fiscal reporting in FY2016. It was a great year!!

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